Psychology of Online Dating

Next up in our Beginners Guide to Online Dating we have Madeleine Mason.

Madeleine is a psychologist and director of dating expert company PassionSmiths. She helps people struggling in their dating and relationship life, seeing people in private one-to-one sessions or via Skype. She also runs seminars and events, regularly contributes to Psychologies magazine lifelab blog and is editor of the Vialucci Magazines Romance Section.

Madeleine has written about the psychology of online dating and is well worth a read, for the full transcript visit the Beginners Guide to Online Dating

ONLINE DATING IS JUST ONE WAY OF MEETING PEOPLE REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU USE APPS OR WEBSITES. IT IS NOT MUCH DIFFERENT THAN GOING TO A CLUB, EXCEPT YOU NEEDN’T GO OUT, DRESS UP OR GET DRUNK TO MEET ANYONE. AS WITH CLUBS, LOOKS MATTER, AND THOSE WHO HAVE PUT MOST EFFORT IN AT LOOKING THEIR BEST ARE MOST LIKELY TO MEET SOMEONE. SOME PEOPLE MAY BE SINGLE, OTHERS PRETEND TO BE, SOME PEOPLE ARE GENUINE, SOME ARE NOT. THE SAME GOES FOR ONLINE DATING. IN THIS SECTION I WILL TAKE YOU THROUGH THE TYPICAL EXPERIENCES YOU WILL ENCOUNTER AND HOW YOU MIGHT DEAL WITH EACH PART OF THE ‘JOURNEY’ ON DATING ONLINE

Drawing on the analogy of ‘going out’ where you start the evening with hopeful anticipation of meeting someone you fancy, the same applies to when you start out with online dating. The beginning is often filled with hope that there is someone out there for you, and more often than not there is, but you need to put in a certain amount of time and effort in creating a great profile and contacting people. The quality of the profile reflects how serious you are about meeting someone. If at a conscious level you think you are ready to meet someone, but create a mediocre and sloppy profile page, you have set yourself up for failure. Don’t do it. Nobody can see your great personality behind lousy photos and self-conscious declarations of ‘I’m not sure what to write here’.

Tip: Use the goldilocks principle of not too much information and not too little

As with most beginnings, you are likely to feel excited, something lies ahead, it could be great, but you don’t know.
For anyone who has tried job hunting, you will learn that the process of meeting someone online is not too dissimilar. Knowing what you are looking for is key. Some of my clients fall in this category where the chief complaint is ‘I keep meeting the wrong person’, ‘why do I always attract the weird ones?’ or some variant. The trick is being clear about what you are looking for, being ok with asking for that and most importantly not being needy about it. This demonstrates confidence, and confidence is attractive.

As with in a club or indeed a recruitment process, you will be rejected. Some people simply don’t reply to your advances, others may actively decline. Do not take it personally. You do not know what is going on in people’s lives. Some may have just met someone from the site, be busy with work, out of credit on their subscription, in need of a break from online dating, inundated with messages, lost their cat, getting back with their ex, whatever. Treat each non-answer as that and move on.

For those contacts you do engage in, unless you are looking for a pen pal, get the communication offline as soon as you feel comfortable with the person or know enough about them for you to want to meet them. Flirt and banter is fine, but if this continues indefinitely you risk disappointment when you meet. The brain has a habit of ‘filling-in-the-blanks’. Any incomplete information you have about someone, your mind is likely to conjure.

Thanks Madeleine! I hope you are all enjoying the series, if you cant wait for next week, then head over and download the full Online Dating Guide

Keeping Safe When Online Dating

ONLINE DATING IN THE UK IS ON THE RISE WITH MONTHLY USERS INCREASING 13 PERCENT, WHICH MEANS THERE ARE NOW OVER 8 MILLION USERS INVOLVED IN ONLINE DATING IN THE UK. THE INDUSTRY ISN’T A NEW SHINY OBJECT ANYMORE AND IS PREDICTED TO BE WORTH OVER £225 MILLION BY 2019 IN THE UK.

AS MORE AND MORE PEOPLE LOOK ONLINE TO PURSUE A NEW RELATIONSHIP, WE WANT TO HELP GUIDE THE NEWCOMERS INTO THIS NEW AND EXCITING WORLD.

In light of this we have created a completely free “Beginners Guide to Online Dating” in partnership with some of the UK’s most famed dating experts. Over the next 4 weeks, we’ll be sharing a snippet from a few of our professionals to give you a taste of our guide, if you want more, then simply head over and download the full guide, be quikc it might not be free forever!!

So to kick this off, our first contributor is Ann from the Online Dating Association (ODA) who will share some info on staying safe when online dating, rememebr if you want the full resource, head over to the beginners Guide to Online Dating – take it away Ann!

Staying Safe When Online Dating

The safety of those using online dating is a primary concern across the industry, however you should think about your own personal safety too. When you embark on online dating you will be thinking a lot about what you want from a relationship but you should always be giving thought as to how to stay safe. Use care and common sense when communicating with or meeting new people, both online and offline.Below we have listed a few tips to help you have a safe experience, for more information please visit the ODA website and the organisations we recommend.

1. Protect your Identity When Crafting Your Online Dating Profile
Most sites will encourage you to create a User Name that does not contain your surname and doesn’t let everyone know who you are, this will help keep your personal information as anonymous as possible to the overall users.
Remember sexually explicit, provocative or controversial user names could attract the wrong kind of attention.
Stay in control when it comes to how and when you share information and don’t share personal details until you are ready. It is also best to avoid including contact information such as your email address, home address, where you work or your phone numbers in your profile.

2. Getting To Know New People And Protecting Yourself
When getting to know people, take your time and trust your instincts. When having a conversation online think whether you would be saying and sharing the same things if you were meeting the other person face-to-face.
Dating sites often offer mail and chat services so you can get to know people in a safe and controlled environment. Make the most of their platforms and the added security it gives you.
Top Tip – Take care when providing contact details to people who say their subscription is about to end. A common behaviour of scammers is to take the conversation away from the safety of the dating site as quickly as possible.

3.Be Aware Of The Warning Signs of a Scammer
Although the vast majority of individuals who use online dating services are honest about the information they give, as with all social networking sites, there may be some exceptions.
Below are a few examples of behaviours to watch out for:
Moving too quickly – Be cautious if the relationship progresses quicker than you are comfortable with. Sudden declarations of love may sound nice but other motives could be there. Use common sense and don’t be afraid to speak to a friend to get a second opinion.
Irregular behaviour – If the person seems vague, tries to take the conversation offline, has an unlikely story or acts inappropriately, then proceed with caution and don’t hesitate to report them.

4. Requests for money
Some scammers will look to gain your sympathy with emotional stories of ill relatives, financial difficulties or urgent job opportunities. Look out! Any request for money at any point should ring alarm bells.
Investment opportunities – Beware of anyone offering you ways to get rich quick by putting your money into investment schemes. You are online to meet people and make new relationships, not to act as a charity.

Top Tip – Online dating sites work hard to moderate profiles, however it is always worth doing some research of your own before meeting someone for the first time. Try searching for social media profiles or do a web search to see if there are any records or images of the person online. For example check their LinkedIn or run a Google Image search to check any photos provided.

To read more and for the full guide, please visit our beginners guide to online dating

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10 Updated And Relevant Wedding Vows

So you’ve finally bagged ‘the one’ and life is just brimming with amazingness and a military styled operation for organising your big day! You may opt for the traditional route when it comes to your wedding vows and recite the “til death do us part… for richer or poorer…” And then you see ‘honour and obey’ and realise hold up! We are no longer living in the 17th century where anyone has to obey his or her spouse. It’s 2015 and everyone should be equal because teamwork makes the dream work! (I just chundered at my own cringe too!) So as an alternative, here are 10 modern vows for those wanting to be a little more creative on their wedding day!

I pledge to you that I will try… really hard to trust your judgement when it comes to map reading and buying the correct brand of washing powder when you go shopping without me.

I promise that I will not roll my eyes and call you a patronising liar when you try to compliment me.

I vow to you that if or when the zombie apocalypse kicks off, I will stand by your side with some sort of stabbing weapon. And when you turn into a zombie I promise to not run for the hills but instead look after you chained up in the garden shed.

I promise that I will love you as much as I love pizza.

I vow that when Netflix asks me to watch another episode of our favourite show, I will have the strength to just say no until we can watch it together.

I pledge that I will remember that neither of us are perfect, and refrain from shouting at you when I’m hungry.

I promise that I will continue to make inappropriate flirty comments even when we’re 80 and wearing incontinence pants.

I vow that I will support you in all of your endeavours, even if I think you’re probably making a huge mistake.

I pledge to you that I will shower you with as much love and affection as I do my cat/dog.

I promise that I will appreciate and honour our differences, even though that weird thing you do when you’re eating winds me up… because it’s our differences that make our journey together that much more interesting!

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3 Reasons Why Being Single Is Hard Work

Staying upbeat and positive when you’re single and everything in your life appears to tell you that there’s something wrong with you… can be tough. It’s easier to accept the fact that the reason for crying into your lonely pillow each night is because you’re hideous and it’s ALL your fault. But instead why not take a step back and realise that the feelings you attribute with being single are totally normal. It’s ok to feel sad or experience that indescribable need to fill a void. These emotions don’t make you immature or hopeless… they just make you human!

Sometimes a little time out from dating works wonders!

Dating can be exhausting. Fact! Of course continue to enrich your life with awesomeness like travel… learning a new language or try a new mash-up version of Pilates and Yoga! But if you feel spent from trawling through online dating profiles or having the same conversations with strangers in a bar… then have a siesta! It’s more than ok to just chill out and give yourself time to get excited about dating again… despite the annoying cries from friends and family of “You just need to get out there!”

Wanting to be in a relationship doesn’t mean you don’t love yourself!

Hey I love myself just fine… but I still would like a partner! Self-compassion is super important and feeling content with who you are in life is a given. We all should keep working at being better versions of ourselves everyday of the week… but you shouldn’t feel like you have to achieve fame and fortune to be entitled to love. And just because you are actively looking for love doesn’t mean your life is unfulfilled.

Actively seeking a relationship doesn’t mean you’re desperate!

As humans it is completely natural to crave a romantic connection. The idea of wanting something so badly is often seen as a red flag and dismissed as a silly notion followed by “you’re just not ready if you want it that bad!” Yes the pungent smell of desperation is not attractive to anyone… but just because you want to be with someone, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a clueless idiot! Knowing what you want in life is a good thing. We’re told everyday to set goals and aspire to something lovely and great… and if that something lovely is a relationship… then why the hell not!

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3 Fab Ways To Get You Out Of A Love Rut

As the sun starts to peek ever so slightly out of the sky and brainwash us all into thinking we’re on a Caribbean Island… some of us maybe pondering whether it’s time to drag ourselves out of dating slump! Sunshine and good vibes with a touch of romance is all we’re asking for but of course it’s often easier said than done. If you are ready to throw yourself into a summer of luuurve then start simple and try these 3 straight forward tricks of the trade to get you feeling special and optimistic for your dating future!

One – Jazz yourself up!

Continue reading

heartbreak

5 Things To Absolutely Avoid After a Breakup

“Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame!” Having you heart exquisitely ripped from your chest by an ex happens to the best of us! Times are hard, life sucks and nothing seems to fast track you out of dumps-ville. The only thing that does help is time. And I am well aware of how annoying it is when people say “you just need to give it time…” because I too have wanted to punch these friends when they have said it to me. The truth is, after you’ve clawed your way to the other side, time was all you ever needed to get over them. However in the meantime as you’re crying into your pillow, you will look for quick fix solutions to your heartbreak. Some things are positive like head to the gym, distract yourself with mates or even get a new haircut, but some things are just a disaster. Avoid at all costs!

One

Avoid any slow musical ballads. Continue reading

first date tips

50 Things You Should Never Say Or Do On A First Date

Go on a first date they said. It would be fun they said. Well it can be if you know what will attract and potentially repel first time suitors! Experience has taught me that dating in general, especially online dating, can be super hard. Every rom-com film suggests that two people will fall head over heels and after some calamitous wooing (with the leading man looking suspiciously like Hugh Grant!), you live happily ever after. However the real world dictates that you may have to navigate the minefield of relationships and dating with a little more thought and care before you get your happily ever after. But alas, here are 50 no no’s compiled from a personal back catalogue of first date disasters! If you avoid these then you might be set up nicely for date number two! Continue reading

Guiding you Through the Awesome World of Dating